Frames of meaning: the space-frame in Bacon

Rina Arya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A common motif in Francis Bacon’s work is the use of a space-frame that is typically a three-dimensional structuring device mapped around a whole or partial figure. Each iteration differs with respect to the form it takes, materiality, degree of finish/resolution, and viewpoint. The manifold varieties of the space-frame give rise to a number of structures, each with different connotations; some resemble glass boxes, cages, or booths; others are less developed and more vestigial. The space-frames have formal and metaphorical applications and are significant in Bacon’s oeuvre not least because of their ongoing use, which started in the late 1920s and continued up to 1988, with predominant use in the 1950s. This article will examine the different uses to which Bacon put these framing devices by analyzing the relationship between the figure and the interior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalInteriors: Design, Architecture, Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


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